Many breweries offer flights so that customers can try different beers. But Lost Shoe Brewing & Roasting Company isn’t limited to beer, so neither are their flights.
“We have these really nice flight boards made by the owner’s father,” said Katie Savluk, the brewery’s general manager. “So we had to take them to the coffee side.”
The Marlborough brewery offers two different coffee flights, hot or ice cold, that change seasonally.
For the winter, the Lost Shoe offers a single origin espresso, flavored latte, gingerbread chai, and nitro cold brew. The latte flavors include peppermint and maple.
Previous seasons have featured a cold brew lemonade for the summer and the upcoming spring season will feature a coffee with their signature lavender syrup.
These flights do not include alcohol. But that makes them perfect for people who don’t drink, said Savluk, a rising trend in the US
“Especially if you don’t drink and hang out with people who do, you can try something that’s fun too,” she said.
The coffee flights are not unique to Lost Shoe. It is a growing trend across the country.
Coffee shops from New York to California have adopted the trend over the years. And while there are multiple options in New England, the trend isn’t widespread in Massachusetts.
Longfellows Coffee offered cold brew flights, but the cafe closed in 2019. Ogawa Coffee in Boston previously offered coffee flights, but stopped offering it due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it caused to their menu. And Barrington Coffee Roasting offered cupping events, similar to coffee flights, prior to the pandemic. But they have since postponed it.
The trend expanded from the industry’s method of judging coffee called cupping. But cupping isn’t for fun, Joel Finkelstein, owner and main roaster at Qualia Coffee, told Eater in 2016.
“Cuppings are a standard method in the coffee industry for judging coffee (not necessarily for enjoying it). It requires a very precise brewing and sampling technique that is not easily accessible to the person on the street,” he said. “In contrast, a tasting session simply gives the public the opportunity to try different coffees side by side.”
But as Eater noted in 2016, coffee shops started offering cupping to the average customer. Still, it was not the usual way to drink coffee. Often it was still taste with a spoon.
Flights, on the other hand, are much more customer-friendly.
And while coffee flights seem like they’re geared toward the coffee aficionado, Savluk said it’s actually for the everyday shopper.
“Even if they’re not familiar with all the coffee jargon, they can try anything,” she said.
Click here to watch the Facebook Live and take a look inside the brewery.